Tag Archive: safe streets

A Beer With Cathy & Gordon

Cathy and bike stencilYou, your friends, and your family are invited!

Here is a chance to support SNG, welcome new staff, and bid a fond adieu to founding executive director Cathy Tuttle.

Our city owes a debt of gratitude to Cathy for her visionary and effective work. Among innumerable other accomplishments, her leadership inspired and supported the formation of 20-some Greenways groups.  From Georgetown/Duwamish to West Seattle to Licton Springs, citizens who care about safe streets are making a difference in their communities.

What: Have a great beer and support a great organization!
Why: For each pint purchased, $1 will be donated to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to benefit safe streets advocacy in Seattle. Hang out with like-minded people who care about safe streets. Say hello to the new Executive Director Gordon Padelford and newly hired Communications & Development Director Susan Gleason and good-bye to outgoing ED Cathy Tuttle.

When: Sunday, August 13th, 4-8 PM

Where: Peddler Brewing 1514 NW Leary in Ballard. family-friendly (map)

RSVP (not required)https://www.facebook.com/events/333411683766856/

​Hope to see you there!

Ready for Safe Routes to Sound Transit?

August 4, 2017
by Cathy Tuttle

What do the new Sound Transit Link light rail stations opening in 2021 in Northgate, Roosevelt, and Brooklyn have in common?

All three have active coalitions of local groups dedicated to getting safe routes for people who want to walk or bike to transit.

#Fix65th Coalition Calls for Roosevelt Station Access

#Fix65th Coalition Calls for Roosevelt Station Access Safety

All of these community coalitions are meeting with SDOT, Metro, Sound Transit and other agencies to make sure access for people who walk and bike is front and center at the new Sound Transit stations. Seattle Council Member Rob Johnson has been a strong ally for all of these coalitions.

UGreenways Hosted Meetings for Walk/Bike Brooklyn Link

UGreenways Hosts Early Meetings for Brooklyn Link Access

As their August 9 public meeting, Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board will tour the three new Link stations. A separate community tour of the University/Brooklyn Station is planned soon. Stay tuned and get involved!

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Northgate Station Proposed Walk/Bike Access Routes

Cathy Supports Streets for People

Merlin and Cathy

Merlin Rainwater & Cathy Tuttle at a rally for Vision Zero 20 MPH streets

August 1, 2017

Come join me for a farewell beer — and welcome new staff at a party at Peddler Brewing in Ballard on Sunday August 13 from 4 to 8 PM.

It has been my great pleasure getting to know you.

You are people all over Seattle doing your part to reclaim streets as public space.

You are the parents walking to school with your children in Lake City along streets with no sidewalks. You are the tech workers who suffer daily terrifying near misses on your bike to work. You are the families celebrating Play Streets in Queen Anne. You are Rainier Valley family bikers negotiating a car-free life. You are neighbors who are trying to figure out how to travel safely on foot and by bike between South Park and Georgetown. You are families mourning the death of a loved one from traffic violence. You are the teams painting streets in Ballard on PARKing Day. You are older adults who long for a nice place to sit outside on slower, safer streets where people driving stop as you cross the street.

You are part of a citywide movement — and Seattle in turn is part of a global movement — of people who share a vision of streets as essential public places for people.

As the founding Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG), I’ve worked full time and tirelessly for the past six years, listening to your stories, uniting our coalitions, and amplifying our voices.

In the past six years as ED, my work has been to direct the conversation, and I’ve seen our streets transformed. More people are walking and biking along protected bike lanes and greenways, parklets and play streets are opening, safe routes for children to our lowest income schools are prioritized. We’re in a good place. And we have far to go.

I’ve worked side by side for the past four years with SNG Policy Director Gordon Padelford, a master coalition builder. I’m delighted he is taking over as ED of SNG. His focused advocacy has helped to put Seattle on the map as a 20 MPH Vision Zero city, and his work has directed millions of dollars into Safe Routes to School, true multi-modal corridors, road rechannelizations, sidewalks, protected bike lanes, better traffic signals, safer routes to transit, Play Streets, tactical urbanism, and much more.

As we continue on our journey dedicated to reclaiming contested public space for people, I am asking you to keep caring and to keep showing up.

Please support the work of Gordon and his team of professional advocates (welcome to the SNG team Susan Gleason!). Support your neighborhood’s on-the-ground greenway group. Keep demanding safe, healthy streets for people of all ages, all abilities, and all incomes.

Thirty percent or more of land in most every city is primarily dedicated to moving and storing cars. I am leaving on a series of extended stays in cities around the world that are working out the details of how to transform their streets into public spaces for people. First stop, Berlin.

We are at a tipping point in the transformation of Seattle into a walkable city. We are witnesses of and advocates for the movement towards a bike-friendly city. We are transforming our streets into public places where people can sit, meet, talk, and play.

With your help, Seattle can become a growing city where streets support people’s lives as they move around, meet new people, raise a family, and grow old. A city I look forward to visiting. Keep going strong my friends.

With love,

Cathy Tuttle, PhD, Board member
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
@CathyTuttle

Thank you Seattle

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Bike Share Changes Seattle Safety Equation

by Cathy Tuttle
July 17, 2017

Bike share will test safe Seattle streets

Bike share will test safety of Seattle streets

I’m so excited!

This week, 1000 new orange and green bikes will be magically scattered like confetti throughout Seattle.

@LimeBike has a track record of launching dock-less bike share systems. @SpinCities says it raised $8 million for bike share and eventually wants a fleet of 10,000 bikes in Seattle.

Seattle is the largest market to date for both companies, and Spin and LimeBike will be competing head to head. Each company is allowed to launch a fleet of 500 of their distinctive bright green and orange upright bikes today, another 1,000 next month, and 2,000 the following month.

The beauty of dock-less bike share is the fact you can find a bike anywhere in the service area with an app, unlock a bike with your phone, and ride anywhere for 30 minutes for $1. No search for parking, just find a bike and ride.

Bike Share and Vision Zero

My biggest worry is safety. Not safety of the bikes, that feel solid and reliable, but street safety. The new bike share service areas in Downtown, Central Seattle, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, South Lake Union, Eastlake, Fremont, Ballard, the U-District are filled with high crash corridors and intersections with few miles of protected bike lanes, trails, or greenways.

  • My hope is the thousands of new Spin and LimeBike riders will encourage people driving to become more aware and respectful of people on bikes.
  • I also hope SDOT will quickly build out a fully protected #BasicBikeNetwork downtown and a linked safe network throughout Seattle.
  • Most of all, I hope thousands of people will discover the joy of riding a bike for everyday transportation.

Welcome SpinCities and LimeBike!

Ready for a downtown #BasicBikeNetwork?

Ready for a downtown #BasicBikeNetwork?

 

Urban Village Bike Map connect the dotted lines!

Urban Village Bike Map connect the dotted lines!

 

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The Cost of Vision Zero

Ronacin Tjhung was struck & killed at MLK & South Graham January 2017

Ronacin Tjhung, father of 4 young children, was struck & killed in January 2017 at MLK & South Graham on his way to work

January 2017

May 25, 2017
Cathy Tuttle, @SNGreenways Executive Director

Every life is precious, and over the course of a year, thousands of lives in Seattle are impacted by traffic violence.

In just the past few months in Seattle, two young parents were hit and killed by people driving, people young and old were maimed for life crossing the street, and people commuting to work who’d love to get healthy exercise by walking or biking to their jobs were intimidated by speeding and distracted drivers and so refused to continue commuting by active transportation.

As a society, we’ve chosen to accept this loss of life and freedom as our collective cost of driving.

Serious road injuries and fatalities also have a real economic cost. A shockingly high cost it turns out.

The High Cost of Traffic Violence

The high cost of traffic violence is what we asked Tim Ganter to capture in his extraordinary data visualizations.

Let’s look at one example, the intersection of Rainier Ave S with MLK Ave S, better known as the Accessible Mt. Baker project. In 2016, our advocacy group successfully lobbied for more funding to go to this intersection. 

Tim’s new map tells the story of what our local advocates had verified on the ground.

Click on image for Data viz map

 

  • In the past decade there have been two fatalities and scores of injuries in and around MLK and Rainier Ave S.
  • In the past decade, the cost of traffic violence around MLK and Rainier Ave S added up to an astonishing $17,206,400 according to actuarial tables developed by the National Safety Council.

So which fact is more shocking? The money or the violence?
Which fact is most likely to influence public opinion and get leaders to invest and take action?

 

Stories of individual lives lost and shattered because of traffic violence are compelling. But so too are the dollar costs to our society for choosing to invest in streets that favor safety over speeding.

I encourage you to explore Tim’s work, based on Seattle’s open-sourced traffic incident reports, combined with fully vetted National Safety Council cost estimates for fatalities and injuries.

Please let Tim and @SNGreenways know how you use this work in your own neighborhoods. And let Tim know if you want his expertise in developing traffic data visualizations for your own community.

Remembering Ronacin

Memorial Walk for highlights why safe streets are not gentrification.
Ronacin MemorialWorking people of all nationalities need safe bike routes…so [they] don’t have to make dangerous decisions to get to their jobs“~ Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks & other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, they are our is right”~Phyllis Porter, Rainier Valley Greenways

Ronacin Tjhung, was hit and killed in January 2017 while riding his bicycle between his two jobs in the Rainier Valley.

Ronacin had been providing for his children by working 60 hours a week and sending money back home to the Philippines. His five children, who lost their mother to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, will remain in the Philippines. What was once a crowd-funded site to raise money to support Ronacin’s family and pay medical bills is now a fund to fly his body back home and pay for his funeral. Here’s a link to Ronacin’s GoFundMe crowd-funding site.

Ronacin’s large family attended a Memorial for him, organized by Beacon Hill Safe Streets, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and Rainier Valley Greenways.Ronacin’s mother, sister, brother, and step-father, along with his extended family, the Filipino Team MANG cycling club, and impressive numbers of people representing local safe streets groups throughout Seattle walked from the Othello Light Rail Station to South Graham Street on Martin Luther King Avenue South near the spot Ronacin was hit by a car driver.

Robert Getch from Beacon Hill Safe Streets did a stellar job organizing and speaking. He was eloquent about the need for safer streets and about his grief at the loss of a valued family man. Phyllis Porter represented Rainier Valley Greenways and spoke about how “safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, but an important right for all.  Central Greenways Shirley Savel spray-painted a ghost bike, and Adam Dodge set it up at the place Ronacin was killed.

Phyllis Porter, Kshama Sawant, Robert Getch spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin

Phyllis Porter, Kshama Sawant, Robert Getch spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin

Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke about why working people needed to be able to have transportation options late at night, especially in low income, culturally diverse areas where access to cars is prohibitively expensive and transit is not reliable during the late night and early morning shifts of many service jobs. She brought up the need for a safe, direct bike route through Rainier Valley, and the importance of signals that would help people cross MLK more quickly and safely.

 

Council President Bruce Harrell offered words of comfort to Ronacin’s family encouraged them to keep involved in making Seattle a better city.

Council President Bruce Harrell spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin Tjhung

Council President Bruce Harrell spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin Tjhung

 

Council member Rob Johnson’s staff Amy Gore attended, as well as CM Sawant’s assistant Rebekah Liebermann. Seattle Police accompanied the group and Dongho Chang represented the Seattle Department of Transportation.

 

Ronacin’s sister Jessica told a little about his life, his boss at McDonald’s spoke about his humor and dedication, and Ronacin’s mother reached out for hugs from the 70 people at the Memorial.

 

The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan includes recommendations for protected north-south bicycle lanes through Rainier Valley, but a direct bicycle route has never been built.

Walking to Graham and MLK

Walking to Graham and MLK

Ghost Bike near S Graham St and MLK Ave S where Ronacin was struck

Ghost Bike near S Graham St and MLK Ave S where Ronacin was struck

 

 

 

 

The Promise of Seattle Boulevards

The Promise of Seattle Boulevards is a 2016 workshop and report from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, supported by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (SPR), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP). The recommendations of this group centered on the best use of current boulevards and a design framework to help to determine how boulevards can function equitably as both parks and transportation for all.

interlaken-blvd-promise-of-boulevards-report-2016The history of Seattle’s boulevard system is closely tied to the Olmsted legacy, which left Seattle with a promise of a citywide system of linear landscapes. The idea of connecting people to the remarkably beautiful landscapes and vistas of Seattle predates the Olmsteds, and continues to this day as we evolve to meet the open space needs of future generations, preserving and maintaining design intent, while connecting people to places.

reviewing-plans-promise-of-boulevards-report-2016

What are our challenges?

Our Seattle network of boulevards were not designed for the vehicle speeds or volumes typically seen today.​ Early boulevards were designed as slow pleasure drives linking scenic resources for early-model cars on gravel-lined roads. Boulevards today often lack intended connectivity, and higher design speed limits the safe use of boulevards for family-friendly recreational purposes, particularly by people walking or biking.

Seattle, through its Race and Social Justice Initiative, has a goal to eliminate disparities and achieve racial equity.​ How can we ensure equitable access on our boulevard system (culturally relevant, ADA, multimodal, and geographically distributed) and create a city where park-like qualities blend into our streets, where parks are accessible for people of all incomes, ages and abilities, all while celebrating our history?​ How can SPR, SDOT, and DON develop shared practices and principles to streamline interdepartmental work on our rich public space inventory? How can we create a transparent process for community involvement?

Read the complete report here

board-of-park-commissioners-1920-promise-of-boulevards-report-2016

World Day of Remembrance Seattle

main-and-5th-fatalityWorld Day of Remembrance is a UN affiliated world-wide event to commemorate victims of traffic violence  http://worlddayofremembrance.org/

 

Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and other local groups are taking part: https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

 

Memorial Gathering at City Hall

Thursday, November 17th 2016 at NOON

City Hall lobby 5th & Cherry

Distribute silhouettes to put up locally. Hear from first responders and from families whose loved ones were killed in Seattle traffic.

 

 

ALL Local Events on Sunday November 20

  1. Ballard/Aurora/Fremont noon Peddler Brewing Company 1514 NW Leary Way
  2. Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker 10AM The Station 2533 16th Ave S
  3. Central/Capitol Hill noon Victrola Coffee Roasters 310 E. Pike St.
  4. Crown Hill/Broadview noon Holy Grounds 9000 Holman Way NW
  5. Downtown/Belltown 10AM Uptown Espresso 2504 4th Ave
  6. Lake City/Northgate 10AM Kaffeeklatsch 12513 Lake City Way NE
  7. Queen Anne/Magnolia 10AM Starbucks 2135 Queen Anne Ave N
  8. Ravenna/Roosevelt 10AM Third Place Cafe 6504 20th Ave NE
  9. West Seattle 10AM Ampersand Café 2536 Alki Ave SW
  10. Rainier Valley 10:15AM Bike Works 3711 S Hudson St. (back entrance to warehouse)
  11. Duwamish Valley noon Oxbow Park (Hat & Boots) 6430 Corson Ave S

The City Hall event is open to the public and will recognize attendees from Seattle Fire, Seattle King County Public Health Department, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as families of the victims who have died in traffic in Seattle.

Event co-sponsors include Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Washington Bike Law

@VisionZeroSea

#WDR2016 #WDR2016sea

VisionZeroSea.org

WorldDayOfRemembrance.org

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

To honor those who have lost their lives to traffic violence on Seattle’s streets, we will be putting up silhouettes all across the city.

We will meet for a Citywide Memorial on Thursday November 17 at 12:00 noon, in the lobby of City Hall. We will distribute 240 silhouettes representing people who have died in Seattle on our streets in traffic in the past 10 years, and highlight the need for safe streets in our city.

On Sunday, November 20, families and groups around Seattle will install all of the silhouettes at local events.

This a difficult time for many of us right now.  World Day of Remembrance, while not a joyous event, is something that we can come together on, as well as to help raise awareness among our friends and neighbors.

World Day of Remembrance is not a political event, but it is the kind of community building and coming together process that will help us keep America great. Thank you for joining us.

Thank you to the staff at United Reprographics for manufacturing these silhouettes.

Here’s an FAQ with more about #WDR2016 how to set up the silhouettes

all-city-wdr-map

 

 

 

 

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wdr2016-logo

Want Safer Streets? Ask for them this week!

October 16, 2016se-seattle-paving-projects

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) hosts “Paving Open Houses” in Northeast and Southeast Seattle next week. The Open Houses are a perfect opportunity for you to ask SDOT to improve safety, revise speed limits, include bicycle facilities, and improve or add sidewalks.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways worked proactively with local groups and SDOT to incorporate protected bicycle lanes along Roosevelt Way NE in 2014-2015. The entire length of Roosevelt — from NE 85th to the University Bridge — will be safer for people who walk, bike, use transit or drive.

(Note: Saturday November 5 from 11-1 the Roosevelt PBL will officially “open” at the U-District Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE).

Try to make it to the Paving Open Houses to tell @seattledot “repaving is a great time to improve street safety for all”.

Meeting details:ne-greenways-repaving-projects

NE Seattle OPEN HOUSE
Monday, October 17, 5:30 – 7:30 PM Roosevelt High School cafeteria 1410 NE 66th St.
NE Seattle Streets to be repaved in 2018: 15th Ave NE – Lake City Way NE to NE 55th St; Cowen Pl NE – 15th Ave NE to NE Ravenna Blvd; University Way NE – NE Ravenna Blvd to NE 50th St; 35th Ave NE – NE 87th to NE 65th St; NE 55th St to NE 47th St; NE 45th Pl – NE 47th St to NE 45th St

Southeast Seattle OPEN HOUSE
Wednesday, October 19, 5:30 – 7:30 PM, Southside Commons, 3518 S Edmunds St.

SE Seattle Streets to be repaved in 2018: Wilson Ave S – Seward Park Ave S to S Dawson St; Swift Ave S, S Myrtle St, S Myrtle Pl, and S Othello St.15th Ave S to MLK Jr Way S; S Columbian Way and S Alaska St – Beacon Ave S to MLK Jr Way S

Contacts:
Dan Anderson (206) 684-8105  Dan.A.Anderson@seattle.gov
James Le  (206) 684-3174 james.le@seattle.gov
Jim Curtin  (206) 684-8874 jim.curtin@seattle.gov
http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/paving.htm

Seattle’s Stranded Biking Families

Biking in Seattle today requires skill and bravery. For someone new to biking, not comfortable jockeying with fast moving traffic, or trying to bike with their children, finding a safe route to work, the store, or school can be incredibly challenging – if not impossible.

Despite repetition by mainstream media and SDOT (Seattle Department of Transportation), Seattle is not currently a great city to bike in. The myth of greatness is part of what is holding Seattle back, and needs to be put to rest. To help bury this myth, let’s hear from mothers and fathers trying to bike with their families in Seattle.

Who is Shirley Savel?Shirley Savel

Shirley Savel is a mom from the Rainier Valley and bikes daily with her 12-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. She blogs about about biking with her family and shares her experiences below.

“Sure, we bike because it can be fun, healthy, and we need to get places, but more importantly it’s an economic necessity for our family. During two very rough periods of unemployment, rather than paying bus or train fare we biked. Biking saved my family from homelessness. Even after finding work, biking has remained an integral part of balancing our family budget.”

“After close to ten years biking in Seattle I am getting tired finding real viable bike connections to get me from place to place. I can now say that I have lived here long enough to see slow progress/process. In SE Seattle nothing connects. How do I get to places like the library, doctor, grocery store, dentist? No routes connect me to anything. I live in a void.”

“When I bike home from North Seattle I follow the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway south but don’t bike to the end because I value my life. I choose the greenway because it has all the elements I love in a slow street: speed humps, flashing beacons, low grade roads and all around less cars.”

SDOT has a way of ending this. It ends in a protected bike lane to Franklin High School and the Light Rail Station. Ha-Ha. Just kidding. It dumps you right into Rainier Ave. THE MOST DANGEROUS ROAD IN SEATTLE. I made this 53 second video to show you.”

Tim Fliss is a father who bikes with his family in NE Seattle.

Tim Fliss is a father who bikes with his family in NE Seattle.

A Dad and His Data

Shirley’s lived experience is not unique. Families across Seattle face similar obstacles. To validate his experiences with data, Tim Fliss created a map showing the routes that families have available to them.

Tim’s map below shows all the routes that SDOT has completed (or will complete by the end of 2016). The green lines are routes that, generally speaking, are comfortable for families: neighborhood greenways, trails, and protected bike lanes. The red lines are routes that are almost always stressful for families such as sharrows on busy streets and door zone bike lanes.

 

Having trouble seeing the map? Click here to view it directly.

See full screen

What happens when you remove the red lines, and leave routes that are comfortable for families and people of all ages and abilities? You’re left with stranded lines scattered throughout the city. You’re left with stranded families like Shirley’s and Tim’s. It’s time for Seattle to own the fact that we are not yet a great city to bike in.

Tim Fliss Green Lines map

All families should be able to get around Seattle on a network of safe streets. To get there we must be honest with ourselves about our current situation, and work hard to improve the lackluster bicycle implementation plan. Stay tuned for part two of this series that will lay out how to build a network that families can use into the bicycle implementation plan.

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